January 28, 2023

KMG Update


This past December I penned a letter to The Reporter on behalf of Keep Metacomet Green. As the name suggests, our grassroots community organization is an advocate for the preservation of the Metacomet site along Veterans Memorial Parkway as green and open space. This has been our goal since July 2020, when potential development of the site first became public knowledge. This remains our goal, albeit an increasingly unlikely possibility, but we recognize that we must also participate in the ongoing administrative process to secure the best possible outcome for our community.

My December letter outlined a number of proposed design guidelines for the Metacomet Subdistrict that KMG had submitted to the Waterfront District Commission in October. We believe that these proposals would protect the integrity of Metacomet and the Parkway without placing an undue burden on the developer. These recommendations virtually mirror those created for Kettle Point and Veterans Memorial Parkway Subdistricts, which border the Parkway. They are also consistent with the current City Comprehensive Plan and the 2003 East Providence Special Waterfront District Plan.

Our recommendations call for development not to exceed “the traffic capacity of the Parkway to service the development,” for traffic signals be be prohibited, and for curb cuts to be restricted in number and size. They also call for neighborhood traffic to be limited to avoid “adversely impacting existing uses and livability of the area.” Other recommendations urge that improvements along the Parkway and the development itself be “compatible with the character of the Parkway in scale, style and material” and with local site conditions, including minimal removal of trees. We offer a number of additional proposals regarding setbacks from the Parkway, building heights, lighting, utilities, and view corridors, among others.

KMG feels that our proposed recommendations reflect the consensus of the community. We believe that, if Metacomet is to be developed, it should be with respect and with the acknowledgement by everyone involved in the project that Metacomet and the Parkway are of immeasurable historic and cultural value to our City.

Over the past several weeks, KMG has made presentations to the City’s Conservation Commission, Historic District Commission and Tree Commission. Each body voted to send a statement of support for our suggested guidelines to the Waterfront District Commission. As did the City Council, with a unanimous vote at its January 17th meeting. As did RI State Representative Brianna Henries (District 64). As did RI State Representative Matthew Dawson (District 65).

While statements of support are merely advisory opinions and not binding on the Waterfront District Commissioners, the overwhelming level of support by community leaders and elected representatives of the people deserves their serious consideration.

The Waterfront District Commission will be finalizing design guidelines for the Metacomet Subdistrict within the next few weeks. If you, too, support these recommendations, please contact Ray Lavey, Executive Director of the Waterfront Commission, and let him know. Director Lavey can be reached at rlavey@eastprovidenceri.gov.  If you would like to know more about our organization, please follow us on Facebook or email me at kmg4ep@gmail.com

Thank you.

Candy Seel
Director, Keep Metacomet Green


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